The Irish Times

Taliban attack kills Spanish security guard

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Taliban fighters mounted a car bomb attack on a guest house near the Spanish embassy in Kabul yesterday, killing at least one security officer and further dimming any hopes of peace talks with moderate elements of the Islamist insurgent movement.

Gunfire was reported immediatel­y following the explosion, which the Taliban said targeted a guest house attached to the embassy near a heavily protected area of the capital close to many other foreign embassies, UN and government buildings.

A spokesman for the Spanish foreign ministry said there had been an explosion in the embassy, which is outside the fortified “green zone”, but Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said later that the attack was not directed at the embassy itself but at the guest house.

A Taliban spokesman said the attack had targeted “an invader’s guest house”. One Spanish security officer was killed but all other embassy staff were safe and unhurt, he told reporters in Madrid.

Security forces with armoured vehicles were deployed around the scene in biting cold weather with at least three insurgents involved in the attack, according to one police official.

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